The old church (Oude Kerk) stands in the heart of the red-light district as if it was watching all the carnival underneath its feet. However, it is the most important monument in Amsterdam and has been playing the role of the cathedral since it was built in the early 13th century. The church was originally dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the sailor's guardian saint, but after the religious revolution, the church was accepted by Protestants, and now only in some humble corners can the traces of the old religion be found.
The oldest building in Amsterdam – the Oude Kerk (Old Church) still stands in all its glory, following many renovations, of course. The building itself no longer functions as a church, but rather it houses a cultural institution that is in charge of many exhibitions throughout the year. The space is wonderful for cultural events, and it is a favourite location to visit for both tourists and locals alike. Previously, the World Press Photo exhibition has been displayed in the Old Church, as well as the inauguration for the yearly ‘Museum Night’ – so you should check out their agenda online for any interesting upcoming shows. You can also take a guided tour to learn more about the building itself, and climb its tower (also the oldest high tower in the city). Definitely worth a visit (entrance fees are affordable, less than 10 euros).
I attended a wedding the Oude Kerk and it was one of the more unique experiences in my life. The church is the oldest church in Amsterdam and is located in the Red Light District, so expect to see some shady characters if you visit. The wedding was non-traditional, so it was a mixture of Dutch and American. I would definitely visit the Oude Kerk, even if I weren’t attending a wedding. European churches are always great spots to visit and this one was no different. It is gorgeous on the inside. They are planning a major renovation, however, so it could be closed sometime toward the end of 2015/2015, so make sure to check out their website or call ahead.
Amsterdam's oldest church is not regularly used for services anymore, but it still feels holy. It has been rebuilt over the years, but the most stunning thing is its wooden ceiling, parts of which are (relatively) original, and the paint still glows a bit way up in the gloom. Inside the church, you really get a sense of the city's old, old seagoing past, and all kinds of explorers and sea captains are buried under the stones. The space is typically used for exhibitions, and sometimes you might catch an organ concert. With separate admission, around the west side of the church, you can climb up the tower and look over the old town, which is a great view.
The Oude Kerk is the oldest parish(Catholic) Church in Amsterdam. After the Protestants (Calvinists) got control of Amsterdam, they allowed the Church to be looted and to fall into disrepair (late 16th to the late 18th century). Today, after years of renovations, the Church is a major tourist attraction.
Walking here on Sunday morning is very quiet and beautiful. The bell rings and walks in the empty lane as if the world had nothing to do with me. The church was originally dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the sailor's patron saint, but after the religious revolution, the church was accepted by Protestants, and now only in some humble corners can the traces of the old religion be found.